I swear things have been making me laugh lately, which is good. Between the auto correct on my phone changing words to something that makes absolutely no sense and doing it over and over again, to people laughing at what I am saying even though it was a completely logical sentence.
Here a conversation with a colleague… Hey, “What are you doing?” Me, “I’m making butternut squash gnocchi.” “What, who says that? I have never heard anyone in my life say those words. The shit that comes out of your mouth is so strange!” Me, “ha ha, it may be odd in your world, but not mine!” There was something so silly about this conversation. Guess she doesn’t know that I write a food blog! LOL!
Anyway, today I made butternut squash gnocchi with a sausage and sage brown butter! I’m not sure where this idea came from. Maybe that it’s quintessential Fall ingredients or maybe I just channeled my inner Nona, whatever, it is so good! It is a little time consuming to make gnocchi, so make sure you plan ahead. It’s actually a fun project to do with someone and double up when you make it! Gnocchi freeze really well for another day! This recipe actually makes a double batch so if you are cooking all the gnocchi, make sure you double the sausage butter sauce.
- 1 1/2 pounds of yellow new potatoes (or 3 cups after put through the “ricer”)
- 1 cup pureed butternut squash (I used a 2 pound squash and had a little left over)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2-21/2 cups all purpose flour
- a few grates of fresh nutmeg
- extra Parmesan cheese for serving
- [b]For the Sauce[/b]
- 3/4 pound of sweet Italian sausage
- 1 stick of butter
- 3 tbs of fresh sage chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Remove from pan and place on a tea towel until cool. Remove the skins on the yellow potatoes. The skins come off easily with a small paring knife. Let sit out to dry. The drier the potato the better for gnocchi.
- Cut the bottom off of the butternut squash and then cut in half. Remove the seeds and place on a parchment lined sheet pan flesh side down. I use a little olive oil rubbed over the squash to keep from sticking. Place in hot oven and cook for an hour or so or until tender. Remove from oven to let cool.
- When cool, remove the flesh and run trough a food processor with about 1/2 tsp of salt until smooth. Set aside.
- Place the potatoes the a “Potato Ricer” on the “fine” setting and push through. Put the potatoes on a tea towel to remove more moisture.
- In a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, 1 tsp of salt, Parmesan cheese and nutmeg and whisk well. Add the potatoes and butternut squash. With your hands, mix to incorporate, don’t squish just fold lightly with your hands.
- Add one cup of flour at a time, just fold in until most of the flour is incorporated. The dough SHOULD NOT be sticky. If you need more than 2 1/2 cups of flour, add 1 tbs of flour at a time until the right consistency. If not all the flour is incorporated at this point, it’s ok, just put onto flat surface and kneed into ball. You can add extra flour at this point if needed.
- Remove the dough on a floured surface and kneed gently until a nice ball is formed. (see picture)
- Cover the dough with a damp towel and let sit for 1/2 hour.
- Cut dough into 8 pieces (see picture) and roll out into about 1 inch long “cigars”. Add flour as needed to keep from sticking.
- Cut into 1 inch pieces. With a fork, make small indentations into each gnocchi. (see picture)
- Set aside onto a parchment lined baking sheet, add a little flour if necessary to keep from sticking. This can be done up to 6 hours in advance, just cover and refrigerate.
- Brown Italian sausage until cooked through, drain and set aside.
- Heat up well salted water in a large stock pot until boiling.
- To make the sauce, in a large skillet (see picture) melt the butter over medium heat, when it start to turn brown (about 5 minutes) add the sausage and sage until warmed through. Turn to low until you are ready to add the gnocchi.
- Add the gnocchi to the boiling water (use about half the gnocchi that you made) Turn the heat up on the sausage butter mixture.
- The gnocchi are cooked when they float to the top of the water (see picture) (this took me about 3 minutes) remove with a slotted spoon and add directly to the sausage butter mixture.
- Combine well. It doesn’t really need to be cooked, just tossed well.
- Add Parmesan cheese before serving.
Last week I ended up “pulling” my garden! It was time. Below is a picture of the last haul! Holy cow, that’s a lot of veg! This year I grew, green and purple broccoli, purple and white cabbage, fava beans (they didn’t do well), peas, purple and green brussel sprouts, three varieties of beets, carrots, rainbow chard, onions, celery, turnips, parsnips, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, butternut squash, radishes and fennel. Whew! That’s a lot for a 250 square foot plot! Considering it was a really odd summer for weather in Colorado, it did pretty well if I do say so myself! Lots of veges for the food bank and to share with friends! Thanks to Metro Districts for having the community gardens for residents to get their hands dirty and grow beautiful things. Pretty darn great! If you live in Highlands Ranch and if you are interested in learning more about the gardens, send me an email and I’ll let you know how to get on the list for next summer!
And then there is Halloween on Friday! Looks like it’s not going to snow for the kiddos, so that’s good. It’s a joke in Colorado- you have to wear a costume that a jacket can fit under! It always snows on Halloween! Anyway, went over to my friends Jess and Will’s for their annual pumpkin carving party or “hey it’s Fall let’s drink wine and cook a turkey party”! It’s my thing to carve a pineapple instead of a pumpkin- it started a few years back. Since I am only good for “simple” design, it kinda is the perfect size for me! The kids insisted on the mustache! I think he is cute!